Growing, delivering and enjoying food more sustainably... Quarterly newsletter of cities seeking low-carbon & resource-efficient urban food systems.
Sustainable Food in Urban Communities Newsletter
July 2013

Summer update

Thank you for your interest in our URBACT Thematic Network “Sustainable Food in Urban Communities” . Here are some highlights on delivering and enjoying food more sustainably from our recent exchanges at 2 workshops and on our blog.
We will be back in automn, with new thematic reports and an Oslo workshop on urban food production!

Footprint of canteens & final consumption

"Enjoying" workshop in Gothenburg, May 2013 More...

Partner cities jointly explored how to make public and private meals more sustainable, and how cities can reach out to final food consumers, including youngsters or low-income households. "A real highlight of the visit was a set of presentations looking at the carbon footprint of food and how this can be used to develop low carbon, nutritionally balanced menus." reflects participant Steve Mariot. In Sweden, school canteens provide meals for free and have switched nation-wide to purchasing only organic meat - even if has to be brought in from abroad. In addition, in Gothenburg the political objective is to strive towards 50% of all ingredients to be organic. Innovative school chef Even Bakke - silver medalist of the culinary olympics with the Swedish school chef team - manages to increase the organic share and cook food pupils enjoy from scratch using just 1€ of raw materials per pupil per meal.  More...

Cracking a viable distribution model for local food 

"Delivering" workshop in Amersfoort, April 2013 More...
The network explored ways to distribute, share and procure local and peri-urban food for the city more sustainably, including less carbon intensive delivery systems and new direct links between supply and demand.
It was striking how local produce is of a growing interest for Dutch consumers and retailers. Vers 24/7 seems to have cracked a viable distribution model for delivering local food at an affordable scale to local retailers in various regions of the Netherlands, allowing farmers to present their produce on an online platform for restaurants and retailers, and Deli XL takes care of the transport logistics between supply and demand. Currently this distribution model focuses on "local" only, not on "organic" produce, and participating producers must produce sufficient volumes for the system to be cost-effective.
Inspirational site visits included Community Supported Agriculture project ‘Het Derde Erf”, farm shop landwinkel ‘De Kopermolen’, community gardening project ‘Tuinpark Laakzijde’  and a visit to a Plus Supermarket  with a particularly wide range of organic & local produce, collaborating with local distributor Willem & Drees. More...

Comming soon: interim thematic report on Delivering

Upcoming exchanges on "Growing" in Oslo, 10-12 Sep

A timely visit to the city of Oslo which is currently preparing its urban agriculture policy. The 2 ½ day workshop, will combine field visits and interactive workshops exploring ways to grow and produce food in the city, in gardens, in parks, on rooftops, on balconies, on derelict lands....
Exchanges will focus on various functions of Growing in an urban context, not only for food production but also for recreational, educationial and social cohesion purposes, as well as on new uses of public & private spaces. For densely populated areas, are there viable Zero acrerage rooftop farming business models? How can we grow in areas with contaminated soil?
To share knowledge or experience in this area, contact us!
More about Oslo

Talking about the sustainable food network online

The URBACT programme wrote a series of articles about us interviewing partners (in English, French and Dutch)
Our network blog is very much alive and was enriched with tens of on concrete action posts and videos for each partner city!
On our facebook page we shared a number of reports and links
and our official network website recaps our main project activities so far.

Give your views in EC consultation to improve food system

How can we move towards a more resource efficient and sustainable food system?
A public consultation is open from 09.07.2013  to 01.10.2013 on this question, and the European Commission will publish the Communication on Sustainability of the Food System at the beginning of 2014, following the consultation.
Areas for action include:
  • Better technical knowledge on the environmental impacts of food
  • Stimulating sustainable food production
  • Promoting sustainable food consumption
  • Reducing food waste and losses
  • Improving food policy coherence

Bristol winner of European Green Capital 2015

On 19 June, Bristol was announced winner of a hotly contested international competition to be European Green Capital in 2015, while Brussels made it to the honourable second position.
Thus the environmental performance of two network partner cities was recognised. While the award does not include specific indicators for the sustainability of the food system it does appreciate its contribution to climate change mitigation.

Needless to say, this is a very exciting time for Bristol. With the environment at the forefront of everyone's minds Bristol hopes to lead the way in the advancement of healthier lifestyles and environmentally friendly living.
A £2 million injection of funding, announced by cabinet councillor for neighbourhoods and environment Gus Hoyt, will help spread new ideas for green community projects including fitting entire streets with solar panels and setting up shared gardens to grow food. More...

Upcoming Events

"Growing" Workshop
Oslo, Norway

Feb/March 2013
Interim conference
Brussels, Belgium

April 2014

"Growing" Workshop
Messina, Italy

June 2014
"Delivering" Workshop
Lyon, France

September 2014
"Enjoying" Workshop
Vaslui, Romania


Baseline study
Baseline study 10/2012 with 10 city profiles & 98 cases

This automn
Delivering thematic report
Our project

The URBACT Thematic Network “Sustainable Food in Urban Communities” (5/2012 - 4/2015) is a project supported by the European Regional Development Program involving 10 European cities..
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